Galifianakis project filming on Friday

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Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 5:00 pm

Folks in Old Fort are gearing up for Hollywood lights, cameras and action scenes to be filmed on Friday as part of the comedy “Untitled Armored Car Project.”

Production crews began filming earlier this month around Asheville and Swannanoa, and are set to film in Old Fort on Friday. The stars of the movie, Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig and Owen Wilson, have already been seen in restaurants around Asheville. The movie just added Jason Sudeikis and a slew of other comedians to the cast as well.

“Untitled Armored Car Project” – the actual title has yet to be determined -- is a comedy based on a real-life heist of $17.3 million from Loomis Fargo that occurred in Charlotte in 1997 by armored car driver and vault supervisor David Scott Ghantt, played by Galifianakis. Ghantt and his co-conspirators, played by Wiig and Wilson, go on a whirlwind adventure and lavish spending spree until they are arrested and convicted to prison time in federal court.

A spokesperson close to the movie told The McDowell News they will be shooting inside and outside at a warehouse in Old Fort. The warehouse is located on Commerce Street in the old Ethan Allen building behind the police department. Film crews have been seen cleaning up the area in preparation for the film, including putting up a barbed wire fence around the warehouse. Commerce Street will be closed for traffic on Friday from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., according to Police Chief Melvin Lytle.

The spokesperson also said crews will return to Old Fort several times to shoot different scenes. It is rumored the movie will be using the finishing plant and the Gateway Museum cabins as locations. He said there are roughly 120 people as part of the cast and crew, but not all of them will be on set Friday.

One local business owner said he was told Friday’s shoot will feature an armored car crashing through the fence and travelling across the road into a ditch. He said the movie has rented his property for dates in August, too.

“Friday is going to be a big day,” he said.

This film is the third to be shot in Old Fort. In 1992, Old Fort was featured in “The Last of the Mohicans,” and in 1996, “My Fellow Americans” was filmed in the small town.

Old Fort locals have been abuzz about the major motion picture. Alderman Charlie Pyles, who owns a woodworking shop on Main Street in Old Fort, said the producers have been very tight-lipped about the film’s involvement in town.

“All they have told me about the movie is that it’s about a small, economically depressed southern town. There have been 30 or 40 people walking around here setting up scenes,” said Pyles. “We are all glad they’re here and we hope it will do something for the town.”

Eight-year-old Chloe helps her dad, Todd Bradley, around his shop on Catawba River Road and said she wants to be in the movie.

“I think it will make Old Fort be a bigger place if it can draw more people to Old Fort,” she said about the movie. “I wish I could be in it.”

The movie is still accepting applications for extras. Those who are interested in becoming an extra are asked to send an email to ashevilleextras@gmail.com

“Untitled Armored Car Project” is set to be released in August 2015 by Relativity Media.